Four federal prosecutors working on the Roger Stone case have resigned following the decision of the Justice Department to reduce the recommended prison term of President Donald Trump's ally after the president himself termed the sentencing as "horrible and unfair".
The prosecutors announced that they have quit the case after the Justice Department said it would reduce the amount of prison time awarded to Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone. Accordingly, the four prosecutors -- Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando and Jonathan Kravis -- have withdrawn from the case. Among them, Kravis clarified that he was quitting as a federal prosecutor too.
Stone's sentencing is due on February 20. Stone was convicted after he was found guilty on seven charges including lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. He was recommended to be imprisoned for seven to nine years. As soon as the recommendation was out, Trump took to Twitter and described it as very horrible and unfair.
"This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!," Trump's Tweet stated.
Just after hours of Trump's tweet, the Justice Department said on Monday night that it would lower the amount of prison term for Stone. However, the department also justified its contemplation and said that they had taken the decision even before Trump tweeted about it.
Russian interference in the 2016 election
The very next day, on Tuesday, one of the Justice Department officials, who had newly joined the case, termed the recommendation "excessive and unwarranted" in a new court filing. This filing was not signed by the prosecutors who had recommended nine years sentencing for Stone.
Roger Stone was convicted in November 2019 on charges of hindering an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The probe was being conducted by the House Intelligence Committee. The prosecutors had found him guilty of lying to them after taking the oath. Stone was also accused of preventing the testimony of a witness in the case.
It is said that Trump's close friend and political consultant Stone also has a tattoo of former president Richard Nixon on his back.
Relationship between Trump and Stone
Roger Stone has been working for Republican politicians since 1970. He has worked for candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Bob Dole and Donald Trump.
He was a political adviser and campaign adviser for Trump during the previous election. Stone co-founded a lobbying firm along with Paul Manafort and Charles R. Black Jr. that was renamed as Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly in 1984. With the help of this firm Stone became the leading lobbyist supporting American companies and foreign organizations in the 1990s.
While campaigning for Trump, Stone had allegedly spread falsehood and floated conspiracy theories. In fact, he had suggested to Trump to run for President's post in 1998 at a time when Stone was Trump's casino business lobbyist. During campaigning for Trump, Stone's mantra was attack, attack and attack, never defend. The second advise was admit nothing, deny everything and launch counterattack.
Officially Stone left Trump's campaign on August 8, 2015. But then, his associates had said during the investigation of the Russian interference case that Stone had collaborated with WikiLeaks to malign the name of Hillary Clinton, who was a contender against Trump.
In fact, the Netflix documentary 'Get Me Roger Stone' is based on Stone's role in Trump's presidential campaign of 2016.